Mina Soare's Reviews > The Kalevala

The Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot
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it was amazing
bookshelves: mythology, nordic, gods, teacheables, witches-wizards-warlocks, murders, family, anthology
Recommended to Mina by: Langfocus on Youtube

Kalevala is a national treasure to the Finns, a collection of mythology that is the more precious for containing both the creation myth as well as cultural insights into the Finnish culture. It stands in comparison with other such treasures as the The Poetic Edda , the Greeks' Theogony and The Illiad & the Odyssey and so on. What's more, its stories and the Finnish perspective on stories common all around the world color a vivid picture of their culture.

What sets Kalevala apart is that the stories inside were transmitted orally up until Lönnrot put them together in the 19th century. How much of their complexity, their character development, the ethics of their characters, were affected by the passing of time?

Unlike the others I've read so far, Kalevala stands alone in terms of character development and emphasis on learning. In other works you would encounter, for example, an archer saying "Apollo, make my arrow fly true" and Appollo did (the ones where the magic formula doesn't work appear to have been forgotten). On the other hand, here the archer has a backstory, the target has a backstory, the archer goes first to make himself the most badass bow ever, and then, all preparation done, he asks the gods "some help would be nice". Do they help him?

No. Come on: new bow, more practice. And do they ever leave him to practice.

Lesson learned: next time do that before his target comes riding through.

This particular edition also starts with an introduction covering the language and society of Finland, extensive enough to be a book in its own right. This makes it much easier to understand the stories later on, don't skip it.

Bonus: pretty picture version of what happens when trying to marry someone against their will AKA Wooing fail #1 AKA Them Finnish girls don't kid around
Väinämöinen and Aino
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Reading Progress

December 2, 2016 – Shelved
December 2, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 2, 2016 – Shelved as: mythology
December 2, 2016 – Shelved as: nordic
December 3, 2016 – Started Reading
March 23, 2017 –
page 16
3.81%
March 23, 2017 – Shelved as: gods
March 23, 2017 –
page 32
7.62%
March 24, 2017 –
page 40
9.52%
March 24, 2017 –
page 49
11.67%
March 24, 2017 –
page 65
15.48%
March 25, 2017 – Shelved as: teacheables
March 25, 2017 –
page 81
19.29%
March 25, 2017 –
page 89
21.19%
March 25, 2017 –
page 97
23.1%
March 25, 2017 –
page 105
25.0%
March 25, 2017 –
page 113
26.9%
March 25, 2017 –
page 121
28.81%
March 25, 2017 –
page 129
30.71%
March 27, 2017 –
page 137
32.62%
March 27, 2017 –
page 137
32.62% "Myth of revival, Osiris parallel - with mother instead of sister. Emphasis on religion"
March 28, 2017 –
page 145
34.52%
March 28, 2017 –
page 153
36.43%
March 28, 2017 –
page 162
38.57% "Finnish girls rock"
March 28, 2017 –
page 170
40.48%
March 28, 2017 –
page 178
42.38%
March 28, 2017 –
page 186
44.29%
March 28, 2017 – Shelved as: witches-wizards-warlocks
March 28, 2017 – Shelved as: murders
March 28, 2017 – Shelved as: family
March 28, 2017 –
page 194
46.19%
March 28, 2017 –
page 202
48.1%
March 28, 2017 –
page 218
51.9%
March 28, 2017 –
page 226
53.81%
March 28, 2017 – Shelved as: anthology
March 28, 2017 –
page 234
55.71%
March 29, 2017 –
page 242
57.62%
March 29, 2017 –
page 250
59.52%
March 29, 2017 –
page 259
61.67%
March 29, 2017 –
page 267
63.57%
March 29, 2017 –
page 299
71.19%
March 30, 2017 –
page 307
73.1%
March 30, 2017 –
page 315
75.0%
March 30, 2017 –
page 323
76.9%
March 30, 2017 –
page 331
78.81%
March 30, 2017 –
page 339
80.71%
March 30, 2017 –
page 347
82.62%
March 31, 2017 – Finished Reading

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